The Names Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What descriptor does Andahl use to describe the nature of the cult in Chapter 9?

2. Where is Eliades living in Chapter 11?

3. What does Rowser fixate on as he talks with James in Chapter 11?

4. What are Rowser's plans as he talks to James at the end of Chapter 11?

5. In Chapter 11, the Keller's, Hardeman and James decide what is the defining characteristic that determines how history books portray rebelling individuals?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where is Volterra in his planning for the cult film at the end of Chapter 8?

2. What point about the murders does Andahl make in Chapter 9?

3. What transpires during James' evening with Del Nearing in Chapter 10?

4. What traumatic experience happens to Orville Benton in Chapter 14?

5. In Chapter 12, why does Owen go to Lake Rajsamand?

6. How does Owen look in Chapter 12?

7. How does James find a new sense of comfortable stasis at the end of the novel?

8. In Chapter 8, what does James see in Mani that shakes him up?

9. What does James Axton learn in Bombay early in Chapter 11?

10. How is Chapter 14 connected thematically to the rest of the novel?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The world of The Names is one in which truth and facts are subjective. One can never be certain what is real and what is imagined. As such, there are a plethora of ambiguous characters in the novel. Write an essay about three such characters, discussing what they appear to be and what they are. How is the narrative affected by each of these characters? What deceptions do they perpetrate, and to what end? Is each characters' objectives identified by the end of the novel?

Part 1) Eliades

Part 2) Rowser

Part 3) Andahl

Essay Topic 2

The Names takes place in a place and time in which new and unknown dangers are emerging for expat Americans. The novel finds clever and unnerving ways to illustrate these dangers. Write an essay in three parts dealing with the way DeLillo illustrates danger and fear in the novel:

Part 1) Discuss the new international reality that is emerging for Americans in the early 1980's. What is the state of the Cold War at this time? What events have illustrated the new danger posed by religious extremism? To what extent is James Axton's profession the quintessential creation of American expat culture in this time?

Part 2) James Axton is clearly a character what sits at the tip of the spear for international danger. What dangers exist for him throughout the novel? Discuss ambiguous characters, messages, and events that strike him as dangerous? What violent moment serves as the culmination of this nascent danger, and who does James think is responsible for it?

Part 3) Discuss the subterranean actions that place James Axton's life in danger throughout the novel. How has James been an unwitting pawn of the intelligence community? What was hunting him throughout the novel? How does he discover the true nature of his work?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about the Northeast Group, what it ostensibly does as a company, how it is represented in the novel, and what it, in reality, is a functionary of. What is James Axton's role within the Northeast Group? What other character is his contact, and how does this character represent a strange intensity unusual for a private company? What does the Group do in the novel, and how are its true functions slyly revealed tot he reader and James Axton alike? What is the fallout?

(see the answer keys)

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